Tag Archives: Asheville

North Carolina Mountains Provide Design Inspiration

The scenic beauty and native plants of Western North Carolina are a continuous source of inspiration. You will see elements from local surroundings in the design for a new home for one of my clients at The Cliffs of Walnut Cove in Asheville, North Carolina. These include a dry creek bed flowing under an arched stone faced bridge leading to the front porch.

Front bridge in progress

The bridge designed by the architectural team of Christopher Rose Architects is reminiscent of the tunnels of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’ll be like having a reminder of the parkway upon approaching their house.

The conceptual design of the architects included a dry creek bed to manage and direct the storm water runoff away from the front of the house. Although I’ve incorporated dry creek beds in other projects, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to integrate it with the architecture in this way. Rather than collecting water in catch basins and piping it away in drains resulting in a generic, sterile look, the use of the dry creek bed becomes a natural looking feature with a functional purpose and a green solution.

We were excited to be invited to go to the actual source of the native stone and be involved in selecting them. Our first stop was to a stone yard where the supplier brings in different types of stones for sale. My client was able to see many different types of stones and identify what was appealing to her. Even better than the stone yard, we were going to be able to select the stones from their natural setting.

Creek Inspiration

We then went to a creek on the way to the rock bar where we were able to hone in on the look, type and arrangement of stones that will be used for her dry creek bed. Although our constructed creek bed will be narrower and sunny, this creek will be the inspiration.

After soaking up the sounds and sights of the water, mossy rocks and identifying several wildflowers, we went on an adventurous ride up the mountain to the rock bar. I’ve been to stone yards numerous times, but that doesn’t begin to compare to actually seeing the stone in its natural setting before it is harvested. Unlike anywhere that I’ve been on hikes, the site was naturally covered in stone of all sizes and shapes. Now, when we see these stones after they’re installed, we’ll remember the trip to the rock bar and from where they came.

Rocks in natural setting

The natural boulders were delivered this week . These boulders will be used for a low boulder wall and as natural looking outcroppings on each side of the driveway entrance. The stones for the dry creek bed will be the type found in creeks and will be delivered on another day.

Boulder delivery

Native Boulders

Stay tuned for updates as the installation begins.

Creating Your Ideal Landscape

Do your outdoor spaces enrich your life? If not, then start dreaming. Don’t hold yourself back. Let your creative side run free. Look at photographs in magazines and books. Think about homes and gardens that attracted you. What is it about them that you like?

Outdoor fireplace

Is it a feature, such as a water garden, outdoor fireplace or colorful flower garden?

Water feature

Is it a certain style- natural, formal, cottage gardens?

Relaxing stone bench

Envision yourself in these spaces. How would you use them? How would they enrich your life? What kind of activities would you do? What kind of feelings do they evoke- peaceful, happy, joyful? Are you starting to get a picture of what your ideal outdoor spaces would be like?

I know that some of you may be thinking, that was fun but how am I going to make it happen? I don’t have the space, time, money, etc. What I’m suggesting is to start off without regard to your perception of reality. We’re not going to duplicate these features, styles and landscapes that appeal to you. They’re the inspiration in creating your ideal landscape. Without inspiration, vision and desire, you may end up with a pleasing landscape that is more about appearances than enhancing your life. With inspiration and vision, you can have outdoor spaces that you love to be in and enjoy with your friends and family.

There are many ways to create your ideal landscape. A large water feature may be reinterpreted into a small pond or fountain that reflects the sky and provides you with the soothing sounds of water.

Outdoor dining spaces

If this idea excites you but you feel overwhelmed and still don’t know where to start, contact me to schedule a complimentary consultation for your home in Asheville. This complimentary consultation will take about 45-60 minutes, and we’ll review your site, desires and dreams. If you decide to work with me, we’ll create a vision of your ideal landscape. I’ll guide you every step of the way in creating your design and turning it into your personal oasis. Click here to get started on creating the ideal outdoor spaces for your home in western North Carolina.

Autumn Landscapes in Asheville

As we start to experience the signs of autumn in Asheville, do you have visions of a beautiful fall garden? Now is a good time to plant.

Those of us who reside in western North Carolina are blessed in many ways. Not only do we live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world with a vast diversity of plants and people, we can successfully install most plants year round. Autumn offers optimum conditions.

There are great benefits for planting in autumn. The temperatures are cooling and the days are getting shorter, so there is less moisture lost to transpiration and evaporation. We also experience more rain during the cool months. This results in less supplemental watering of the new plants and less use of this valuable resource.  Even drought tolerant plants need about a year to get established. The plants have several months of establishing their root system in their new home before focusing their energies on leaf and flower production in the spring.

In Asheville, we can successfully plant herbaceous plants, such as perennials and groundcovers, well into October. Depending on the plant, you may even enjoy some flowers or fall color before they go dormant for the winter. By planting in the fall, you’ll be on your way to enjoying spring and summer flowers next year as these plants can’t be put in the ground in the spring until after the danger of a late frost, which is in May. Autumn is also a great time to plant trees, especially large trees that are dug in the field and balled and burlapped.

October is the best time to plant spring bulbs. Don’t let this once a year opportunity pass by you or you will miss the beauty of these spring harbingers next year.

At Terri Long Landscape Design, we can handle your autumn landscape needs from creating a design to enrich your life to the actual installation of the landscape. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

Plant a Legacy in Your Landscape

Live Oak Trees

Large trees create legacies. They can provide us with a sense of stability and hope with their large sizes and longevity. They connect us to the past while we enjoy them in the present.

My thoughts turned to the legacies created by trees and landscapes during a recent visit to Charleston and Savannah. I was overcome by the grandeur of the live oaks draped in Spanish moss that lined the historic streets and dirt roads and provided beauty and shade in historic sites and cemeteries. I thought about the vision of those people who not only had the foresight to plant these large trees and other plants but also those who have cared for them for many generations.  Their visions of future possibilities are what we enjoy today.

Although we don’t have live oaks in the Appalachian Mountains, we have other large trees that are majestic in their own right. I’m thinking of tulip poplars, hemlocks, oaks, and beeches. In Asheville and the surrounding area we find many locations where visionaries planted trees and protected the beauty of our Appalachian mountains. In the heart of Asheville is the collected vision of George Vanderbilt and Frederick Law Olmstead, the father of landscape architecture. When Vanderbilt acquired the property that is now Biltmore Estate, it was eroded, barren and unproductive farmland. Visitors today see the lushness of the woodlands as they travel around the grounds and think that it’s always been a beautiful forest. (www.biltmore.com)

It’s only been a short 75 years since the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (www.GreatSmokies75th.org) and only 74 years for the Blue Ridge Parkway (www.blueridgeparkway.org). We are surrounded by the vision and dedication of leaders who saw the value of protecting the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains with the creation of national and state parks.

Most of us want to leave the world a better place than how we found it. As we celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day (http://www.arbordayfoundation.org), I invite you to think of ways of creating your own legacy for future generations. There are many ways to do it. We can all take small steps in our own way that add up to big results.

Please let me know if we can be of assistance to you in your Asheville and western North Carolina landscapes.

Enjoy the beauty of nature and especially the beauty of trees!

Terri Long Landscape Design, Inc.

Enriching Your Life with Natural Beauty


Asheville, North Carolina

Protecting Your Spring Blooms from Freezing Temperatures

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday I was weeding in the hot sun with temperatures over 70 degrees. Today, the temperatures kept getting colder as the winds blew in.  There’s currently a mix of rain and snow. It looks like the weather forecast for Asheville and western North Carolina may be accurate.

You can protect your most highly prized plants by covering them with either freeze blankets or bed sheets. Secure the edges of the blankets or sheets with rocks, bricks or landscape staples so that the winds can’t blow your protection off of your plants. Pillow cases can be used over smaller shrubs and trees and secured around the base of the plant. You will need to remove these coverings during the day or open them to allow air circulation to prevent the rising day temperatures from burning your plants.  Although  this isn’t practical to do for your entire landscape, it’s a very effective way to prevent or minimize cold damage to your most vulnerable plants, especially from the cold winds. Select the most important and expensive plants, such as Japanese Maples and shrubs that may be flowering or have tender new growth emerging.

It’s also a good time to create a floral arrangement with some of your flowers from bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, and flowering shrubs. At least you’ll be able to enjoy them in your home. 

If you see damage on your plants, be patient. Don’t start pruning until after giving the plant a chance to recover and see the real extent of the damage.

I’m hopeful that we won’t have much damage and will be experiencing warm weather the beauty of spring here in the mountains of North Carolina in just a few days.

Happy Spring!

Terri Long Landscape Design, Inc.

Enriching Your Life with Natural Beauty


Asheville, North Carolina